Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966)

This one had less than stellar reviews, but it, too, was exceptionally cheap–and it stars James Coburn, which I suppose is enough for me.

Coburn is Eli Kotch, an expert of a con man who slides between characters, accents, jobs, life stories and women like a politician through election platforms. We hear a number of names for him, and can never be sure that even Eli Kotch is a real name, but it doesn’t matter too much. He gets out of prison by conning a psychiatrist and then immediately beings planning the robbery of an airport bank while the Russian Premier is visiting and coming in through that very same airport.

The major criticism of this film are accurate; it’s not quite sloth-like in pace, but it’s certainly leisurely, which is odd for a heist film. There’s not much sense of danger or real suspense, and the characters–though engaging–are pretty flat. Still, it’s great fun to watch James Coburn makes his way through many people with no real risk to himself, oozing charm and fun. Shame everything around him seems to lack energy. There’s honestly not tons more to say than that.


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